The Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site visitor center has reopened to the public with limited public access available inside the visitor center, exhibits, restrooms, and Jefferson National Parks Association bookstore.
Information on Ranger-Led Interpretive Programs at Little Rock Central High School NHS
Ranger-led interpretive programs at Little Rock Central High School NHS can be reserved only between Tuesday - Saturday when available and only at 1:00 PM CST/CDT; programs do not include access inside Little Rock Central High School. For visitor planning purposes, below is a list of dates when programs are either fully booked or not available due to other scheduled events.
Ranger-led interpretive programs are by confirmed reservation only and must be reserved in advance. For the best possible availability, we recommend calling to request reservations at minimum 2 months or more in advance as we do not provide ranger-led interpretive programs without a confirmed reservation.
Ranger-led interpretive programs typically have a set limit of participants (50 for this program); groups wanting to bring more than 50 visitors must contact the park in advance at (501) 374-1957 to see if an accommodation can be made.
Ranger-led interpretive programs start at the Visitor Center located at 2120 W Daisy L Gatson Bates Drive; the Visitor Center offers free parking and can accommodate cars, buses and RVs. Ranger-led interpretive programs involve crossing two streets at an intersection to reach Little Rock Central High School. Paved crosswalks and sidewalks connect the visitor center to Little Rock Central High School and are accessible. A program may involve several periods of time outdoors in various temperatures; in the event of inclement weather, a program may either be modified to stay inside the visitor center or shortened in duration.
These walking interpretive programs go from the visitor center to Little Rock Central High School and share the story of the Little Rock Nine, desegregation, education and this moment in the civil rights movement. The route of the program may go onto the grounds of Little Rock Central High School, the grounds of the Magnolia Mobil Station, into the Commemorative Garden and/or to the Elizabeth Eckford Bus Bench, all of which are accessible. The landing at the main entrance to Little Rock Central High School is not accessible.
We strongly recommend that you bring water or a fillable water bottle on this program. While there are both water fountains for your use and reusable water bottles for sale inside the visitor center, we do not sell bottled water or other beverages here onsite. Sunscreen, an umbrella and an outdoor sun hat are other items we recommend you bring and use outdoors on a sunny Arkansas afternoon; fall and winter afternoons can be windy or a little chilly, so we suggest clothing layers to keep you comfortable indoors and outdoors during this program.
Please note - these ranger-led interpretive programs are not focused on Little Rock Central High School and its architecture.
If a program is full or reservations are unavailable, we recommend using our accessible self-guided walking program with accompanying audio and a transcript for your use - a presentation researched, scripted, and recorded by students in the Central High Memory Project. The content follows the footsteps and narrates eyewitness accounts of the unsuccessful first attempt by ten African American students (September 4, 1957) to attend classes during the historic desegregation crisis at Central High School.
The program includes maps, a timeline of the crisis, full written transcripts of the content narration and more. Note - this content is available free on the National Park Service Mobile App on Google Play and iOS devices.
To reserve your space on a ranger-led interpretive program, follow all these steps:
Call 501-374-1957, the main phone number for the National Historic Site.
When reserving a program, please be prepared to provide the following information or be sure to leave this in your voicemail message:
Date interested in a ranger-led interpretive program; if you leave a message, be sure to give a specific date, e.g., not "tomorrow" or "Friday" or "next Monday"
Currently, programs are offered Tuesday through Saturday when available; check below for dates when these programs are offered
Name for the individual or group - this will be our point of contact
A phone number - preferably a cell phone you will have on the day of the program
Number of people you want to attend the program
An email address that you check - we will send a confirmation email to this address
Any accessibility accomodations or special requests we can provide on this program
We will reserve and confirm the date, time, phone number and other relevant details with an emailed confirmation.
Note - This list of dates below will designate whether dates/space are available OR where reservations are already at capacity; we will update this and provide AVAILABLE updates for the current and following month in 2023.
No Sunday and Monday interpretive programsin 2023 until further notice; the visitor center is open and programs are available to be reserved from Tuesday to Saturday, when available.
Updated as of Wednesday, September 20, 2023
September 2023 - REMAINING VACANCIES ON THESE AVAILABLE DATES
Thursday, September 21 - 1:00 p.m. CDT
Friday, September 22 - 1:00 p.m. CDT
Saturday, September 23 - 1:00 p.m. CDT
Wednesday, September 27 - 1:00 p.m. CDT
October 2023 - REMAINING VACANCIES ON THESE AVAILABLE DATES
Tuesday, October 3 - 1:00 p.m. CDT
Saturday, October 7 - 1:00 p.m. CDT
Thursday, October 12 - 1:00 p.m. CDT
Saturday, October 14 - 1:00 p.m. CDT
Tuesday, October 17 - 1:00 p.m. CDT
Thursday, October 19 - 1:00 p.m. CDT
Saturday, October 21 - 1:00 p.m. CDT
Tuesday, October 24 - 1:00 p.m. CDT
Wednesday, October 25 - 1:00 p.m. CDT
Friday, October 27 - 1:00 p.m. CDT
Saturday, October 28 - 1:00 p.m. CDT
Tuesday, October 31 - 1:00 p.m. CDT
November 2023 - REMAINING VACANCIES ON THESE AVAILABLE DATES
Wednesday, November 1 - 1:00 p.m. CDT
Saturday, November 4 - 1:00 p.m. CDT
Tuesday, November 14 - 1:00 p.m. CST
Wednesday, November 15 - 1:00 p.m. CST
Thursday, November 16 - 1:00 p.m. CST
Saturday, November 18 - 1:00 p.m. CST
Tuesday, November 21- 1:00 p.m. CST
Wednesday, November 22 - 1:00 p.m. CST
Friday, November 24 - 1:00 p.m. CST
Saturday, November 25 - 1:00 p.m. CST
Tuesday, November 28 - 1:00 p.m. CST
Wednesday, November 29 - 1:00 p.m. CST
* Note - Additional dates without ranger-led interpretive programs will be added in 2023.
Last updated: September 20, 2023
Little Rock Central High School NHS
2120 W. Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive